Photo: Vic Ramey, University of Florida/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. Drawing: University of Florida/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.
Parrot feather has two types of leaves: robust green wax-coated emergent leaves arranged in whorls around the stem and submersed leaves that may appear brown and decaying. Tiny white flowers grow in the leaf axils of emergent stems.
Parrot feather is native to South America . It grows well in both fresh and mildly saline waters and can survive on dry banks and shores. Plants sprout from overwintering rhizomes in the spring. Thick growths of parrot feather may impede swimming, boating and fishing. Populations occur in New York and Rhode Island ; it is not known to be present in Maine .